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Subject: Re: On "LOTR: The Two Towers"; "improvement"?

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  • David F. Porteous
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 1, 2003
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      <<Jan Theodore Galkowski wrote: The rendering of Sauron's eye is the more
      serious gaff, because it both breaks with a strong impression given in the
      "Fellowship" movie and because it trivializes Sauron's power.>>

      <<David Bratman wrote: Bringing Sauron onstage in the prologue, however
      massive and powerful, also limits him.>>

      Both correct, but the damnable sin is that after establishing this
      supposedly terrible evil they then give him absolutely nothing to do but sit
      and wait to be destroyed. IIRC in the book isn't it Sauron who sends the
      snow against the party and not Saruman? So Saruman knows where the
      ringbearer is precisely enough to bring down an avalanche on him with a
      lightning bolt, and he speaks to Sauron regularly, but he didn't think to
      raise this point? Or if he did the Dark Lord thought, "nah, I've got some
      particularly evil dusting to do today, the orcs are painting the spare room
      and I've sent the Nazgul out for a pint of milk, we'll get the ring back
      tomorrow".

      I always felt the eye was physically AT Barad-Dur, if not an actual physical
      eye, so I didn't mind the big flaming eye on the top of the tower. A
      literal interpretation of the word eye did rather miss the concept of
      watchfulness though. What are the odds that the Mouth of Sauron is actually
      a huge flaming pair of lips? Perhaps the reason Saruman is responsible for
      the inclement weather is because if Gandalf had said, his arm has grown
      long, then they would have felt compelled to show Sauron's large fiery arm
      stretching from Mordor waving a salt shaker above them.

      -- David
    • David S Bratman
      ... This is speculated by Gimli and Gandalf, but not confirmed explicitly. In the end, Gimli attributes their troubles to the mountain itself. In general,
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 1, 2003
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        At 11:49 PM 1/1/2003 +0000, David F. Porteous wrote:

        >IIRC in the book isn't it Sauron who sends the
        >snow against the party and not Saruman?

        This is speculated by Gimli and Gandalf, but not confirmed explicitly. In
        the end, Gimli attributes their troubles to the mountain itself. In
        general, Tolkien postulates that there are sources of evil independent of
        Sauron. Shelob is an obvious example. Aragorn mentions this principle in
        the discussion of Caradhras: "There are many evil and unfriendly things in
        the world that have little love for those that go on two legs, and yet are
        not in league with Sauron, but have purposes of their own. Some have been
        in this world longer than he." They may be roused by Sauron or his
        activities, though: apparently the Balrog was, for instance.

        >So Saruman knows where the
        >ringbearer is precisely enough to bring down an avalanche on him with a
        >lightning bolt, and he speaks to Sauron regularly, but he didn't think to
        >raise this point?

        This was a particular problem for me. The purpose is the Fellowship being
        a small party was for them to slip through without special notice. Gandalf
        is nervous when he calls attention to himself. Having the enemy be
        consciously aware of the Fellowship's every motion is a major change from
        the book.

        >I always felt the eye was physically AT Barad-Dur, if not an actual physical
        >eye, so I didn't mind the big flaming eye on the top of the tower.

        Sauron was physically in Barad-dur, and being in its sight-line renders the
        Eye especially painful, but there was no big physical plasma eye up there,
        any more than, as you suggest,

        >What are the odds that the Mouth of Sauron is actually
        >a huge flaming pair of lips?


        At 12:29 AM 1/2/2003 +0000, Blake Adams wrote:

        > I'll start by including my own prediction: At the Crack of Doom,
        >after Gollum rests the Ring from Frodo's finger and is dancing around
        >in joy, he falls off the edge *not* by "accident" but by Sam jumping
        >up from where Gollum had knocked him down and knocking Gollum over
        >the edge like a football linebacker.

        Are you aware that this is pretty much what happens in one of the abandoned
        drafts of the story?

        Having someone carry a hobbit on horseback through Eriador like a sack of
        potatoes, like J-Arwen carries J-Frodo, also happens in the abandoned drafts.


        At 04:53 PM 1/1/2003 -0800, JP Massar wrote:

        >I thought the prologue to FoTR was an amazing achievement, one of the
        >really brilliant parts of the movie.

        I thought it worked pretty well if one had to have a prologue of this kind,
        but my amazement at it was due entirely to my sense of wonder not yet being
        dulled by the endless battles of the rest of the film.


        At 02:34 AM 1/2/2003 +0000, Jan Theodore Galkowski wrote:

        >In the first instance, there is a clear acceptance of change. It is
        >such a basic one that it is difficult to square that expression with
        >the hypothesis that it was an enduring shock regarding Sarehole Mill
        >which moved Tolkien to regret industrialization.

        It acknowledges the inevitability of change, but does so in a regretful
        manner. It does not at all mean that Frodo, or Tolkien, has to like it, or
        cannot work against it.

        >In the second instance, the skills of the elves are judged as a kind
        >of technology, not magic. It may be a technology which hobbits and
        >men and dwarfs have forgotten, as we may have, but it is technology
        >still

        True, but that was what I was saying, so I can't square this with your
        earlier statement that you thought the LOTR text did not support some of my
        points.

        - DB
      • Stolzi@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/2/2003 12:04:08 PM Central Standard Time, ... Eight legs GOOD! Two legs BAD! Diamond Proudbrook, smirking [Non-text portions of this
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 2, 2003
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          In a message dated 1/2/2003 12:04:08 PM Central Standard Time,
          dbratman@... writes:


          > Shelob is an obvious example. Aragorn mentions this principle in
          > the discussion of Caradhras: "There are many evil and unfriendly things in
          > the world that have little love for those that go on two legs

          Eight legs GOOD!

          Two legs BAD!

          Diamond Proudbrook, smirking


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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